The Hidden Agenda of Landscape Painting: An Analysis of Franz Post’s A Brazilian Landscape (1650)


In her discussion of Franz Post’s A Brazilian Landscape (1650), Julie Hochstrasser provides a fresh perspective on landscape painting that diverges from the way art history has traditionally understood and interpreted it. Among other things, she emphasizes what the beauty of the natural landscape hides in terms of human suffering, and she ties the meaning of A Brazilian Landscape directly to the political and colonial ambitions of the Dutch in Brazil at the time. Throughout the European landscape tradition, an image of a beautiful, untouched wilderness was often presented as ripe and ready for Euro-American colonial or industrial exploitation. Write an essay that draws on these ideas to analyze a work of art or landscape design. Try to think about what is included and what is not included in the artwork, and how these choices affect the meaning of the work. If humans are included, think about how they’re presented and how they relate to the natural features in the composition. Do they dominate the landscape, or are they presented as part of the nature itself? Is nature friendly, hostile, or indifferent? What is the political and historical context of the work, and how does the landscape present certain ideas of power that benefit one group or another?
Format: 1300 – 1500 words, double spaced, 12 point type, citations in end note form (these do not count toward length and must be in MLA or UChicago form). Images should also be attached at the end (these also do not count toward length).
Be sure these give you a schematic overview of the paper.
300 Points Total
1. The introductory paragraph has an opening line that invites the reader to continue reading. May take any form, but is not likely to work if it just names the work and its dates! 20 points 
2. Introductory paragraph introduces the fundamentals of the project. 20 points
3. The thesis statement is clear. It states an opinion about the object/s. 20 points.
4. A sequence of three to five paragraphs that tie back to the thesis statement in a way builds up to an argument. These should contain historic information that addresses the context and audience for the object. This is where you use the research citations named above. 50 points
5. Every paragraph has a topic sentence that indicates the subject matter of that paragraph. If you string these together, you should have a basic outline. 50 points.
6. A concluding paragraph that restates the thesis/opinion in terms that show you have proven your point. If possible, in the conclusion you may indicate where the argument would go if the paper were longer or how you would  improve the paper if you had a semester to expand it. 50 points
7. Catchy title: Should give general sense of the topic. Can be serious, humorous, literary, descriptive. 20 points
8. Grammar/Spelling: 50 points (minus two points per grammatical or spelling error). Hint: Run a grammar check. Run a spell check. Proofreading is essential to good writing.
9. RESEARCH RULES: Quotes should not exceed two lines, so only use the part of a text that supports or complicates your argument. If you are tempted to use a quotation for a listing of data, don’t! Reword the data and be sure to cite the  source of the data



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